Scholarships Now Available for League of Legends Players
Robert Morris University-Illinois has announced a Varsity League of Legends Team, with scholarships to incentivize players to enroll.
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RMU becomes the first college to offer such scholarships for eSports athletes with this announcement. Students who qualify can receive up to 50 percent of tuition and and up to 50 percent of room and board costs covered by the aid.
Along with the establishment of the scholarship, RMU has also created a Varsity League of Legends team that will compete with other colleges in the Collegiate Starleague. Other participating colleges include Harvard, George Washington, and Arizona State. Teams from the United States and Canada compete for the North American Collegiate Championship, a League of Legends tournament organized by developer Riot Games. Winners receive $100,000 in scholarships from the tournament.
Associate Athletic Director and eSports coordinator Kurt Melcher explains the decision: "Robert Morris University has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for a diverse student population with different interests and skills. League of Legends is a competitive, challenging game which requires significant amount of teamwork to be successful."
This year, Riot Games announced that 27 million people play League of Legends every day, and even more watch it online.
It is likely that more colleges will follow RMU's decision in the coming years. Either way, this will certainly fuel the debate of whether or not eSports should be considered a "real sport."